Open Source Software Development Professional Certificate on edX
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 07 February 2022

The Linux Foundation has three new courses focused on developing open source software with Linux and Git on the edX platform. Take all three to earn a Professional Certificate.

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The Linux Foundation has run courses on edX since 2014 and in 2020 we reported that Introduction to Linux taught by Jerry Cooperstein had had over 1 million enrollments on the edX platform. Now Cooperstein is the instructor for three more Linux Foundation courses on edX that provide a strong foundation for working comfortably and productively in open source development communities using Linux methods and tools and Git as the source control system.
LFedxbannerThese courses are very timely as the importance of open source software is increasingly recognized and developers with appropriate skills are in increasing demand. 

According to the Linux Foundation's 2021 Open Source Jobs Report, 92% of hiring managers report difficulty finding prospective employees with open source skills. The survey also revealed that in 2021 88% of hiring managers prioritize candidates who hold certifications, a large increase from 57% in 2020. A similar proportion of hiring managers reported a willingness to pay for certifications, up from 74% previously. The report commented:

Certifications help for recruiting purposes, but they are also a retention mechanism. In many cases, they can also make a company more competitive if it can tout a high number of certified IT professionals to its customers.

It is against this background, and with an ever-increasing demand for developers with open source software skills, that the Linux Foundation has introduced the Professional Certificate in Open Source Software Development, Linux and Git on the edX platform. This comprises three skill-building courses and it is estimated that the entire program can be completed in 11 months with 1 - 2 hours per week. As it is self-paced you can progress at your own speed and perhaps finish in a much shorter time. You can audit the course for free but for the full program experience, and to earn the Professional Certificate, you need to enrol. There is a 10% discount for enrolling in the Professional Certificate from the outset - whereas each course costs $149, it costs $399 to enrol in the the entire program.


The program has been designed for experienced developers who want to understand the basics of open source software development. Possession of the certificate shows that you have mastered important Linux methods and requisite tools, that you can use Git to create new repositories or clone existing ones, commit new changes, review revision histories, examine differences with older versions, work with different branches, merge repositories, and work with a distributed development team.

The three courses are each 14 weeks in length and their lab exercises  are designed to work either on native hardware, or using a virtual machine (VM), under a hypervisor, such as those in the KVM, VMWare, or Virtual Box families.

In the first course, Open Source Software Development: Linux for Developers, students gain the ability to:

  • Discuss the key concepts involved in developing open source software (OSS).

  • Know best practices for long term sustainability of projects, including how to respect and encourage diversity.

  • Review open source software licensing issues, such as types (restrictive vs permissive) and explain how to choose the right one.

  • Have a good understanding of Linux systems and utilities.

  • Work comfortably at the command line.


Then in Linux Tools for Software Development they learn to:

  • Use essential command line tools for every day tasks.

  • Construct scripts and perform complicated tasks in an automated way.

  • Discuss how Linux works with various types of filesystems through the use of a virtual filesystem.

  • Compile programs in Linux using gcc and other compilers.

  • Use different types of shared and static libraries.

  • Build packages out of software in Linux in both RPM and Debian systems, to be readily distributed to other developers of Linux distributions.

Finally, the third course Git for Distributed Software Development provides a thorough introduction to Git, the source control system that arose out of the Linux kernel community that enables widely distributed software development to operate efficiently. It shows how to:

  • Use Git to create new repositories or clone existing ones

  • Commit new changes, review revision histories, and examine differences with older versions.

  • Work with different branches, merge repositories, and work with a distributed development team.  

Coursera also offers the Open Source Software Development, Linux and Git Specialization again taught by Jerry Cooperstein with the same material split over four self-paced courses. Coursera has a monthly subscription after a 7-day free trial and this Specialization is included in Coursera Plus which gives unlimited access to the majority of content on the platform.   linuxfond

More Information

Professional Certificate in Open Source Software Development, Linux and Git 

Open Source Software Development, Linux and Git Specialization on Coursera


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 June 2022 )